What Are The Greatest Ever D&D Books For Inspiring Adventures?

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Slumbering in Tsar
For official D&D, the 2e Planescape materials would be at the top - specifically the Planescape Campaign Setting Box Set and the Planes of Chaos Box Set stand out.

Also, FR1-FR16 (except FR12 and FR15), the 1E/2E Forgotten Realms sourcebooks were very inspiring to me.

For non-TSR/WotC stuff, the Wilderlands of High Fantasy Box Set from Necromancer Games is a treasure trove of inspiration and may be the all-time best product for seeding adventures.

I will also third Planescape. Planescape, Planescape, Planescape!

Also, I throw out a vote for Oathbound. Extremely imaginative and syncs really well with Planescape.

Once more...Planescape, Planescape, Planescape!


Second Edition's Faiths & Avatars for the Forgotten Realms was not only the book that brought me back to D&D and RPGs after many years, it has inspired every campaign since then across three editions.


If I had to choose one accessory from the editions, below would be my most influential. It was really hard to choose just one, there are so many good ones.

  • 1st: Unearthed Arcana. This book added all kinds of new ideas which really helped get my creativity flowing.
  • 2nd: Forgotten Realms Adventures: It doesn't seem as good when I look at it now since there are so many other high quality accessories (even in 2nd ed), but at the time it was one of the first accessory books I bought.
  • 3rd: Lords of Darkness: The detailed organizations in this book have proven to be an invaluable resource for more fully developing my FR campaign. I used a ton of ideas from this book.
  • 4th: Don't have any 4th ed.


I have a pretty bizarre range of inspirational books. The old D&D Immortals set and the 1e DMG are probably my core sources of inspiration just because of the range of weird out there ideas (and I'm one of those people that can read the DMG just for kicks so....) besides those, the Lords of Madness for 3rd edition, the 4th ed manual of the planes (strangely, the only version of that work I've really ever cared for), any of the OD&D little brown books, the original Fiend Folio, the Great Beyond (for Pathfinder) is a great book too (I'm a sucker for planes books, can you tell?) and Beyond Countless Doorways (a Malhavoc press book). I think practically any planescape or old Mystara supplement would be on such a list at any given time depending on what I'm running.


First Post
Hmmm, a list....

Wilderness Survival Guide - I wish that the 3.5 terrain books had been half as useful.
A Mighty Fortress - paralleled with my homebrew setting, was used more often in 3.X than 2e.
Heroes of Battle - one of the few books that I can honestly point to and say 'that book changed the way that I run games'. Possibly the best D&D book by WotC, outside of the core books.

The Auld Grump

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